To create a comprehensive system of awareness, response, education and training that will enable the Bartholomew County community to give domestic violence support to victims and their families in their efforts to live a violence-free lifestyle. This domestic violence support program will reach across legal, medical, social, law enforcement, and human service organizations.
The work of the Domestic Violence team is broad and inclusive of the criminal justice system, workplace environments, emergency services, churches, schools, healthcare and social services. Our efforts to reduce domestic violence in our communities take place on four fronts:
- Safety and support for victims of domestic violence
- Batterer accountability
- Reduction in recidivism for both domestic violence victims and abusers
- Prevention-based efforts to break the intergenerational cycle of domestic violence
Safe Schools - Anti-Bullying
The domestic violence support action team has assisted the anti-bullying efforts launched by the schools in early 2006 adding a key dimension to the prevention of school bullying. The Bartholomew County School Corporation and volunteers provide anti-bullying training in all elementary and middle schools to promote anti-bullying and prevent school bullying. This ongoing work is critical not only for safe schools and successful learning, but also in breaking the cycle of domestic violence. In addition, Safe Dates, a healthy relationship curriculum, is available for middle school health classes.
Through focused efforts of the domestic violence action support team, the Public Prosecutor's office now has an Assistant Prosecutor to handle all domestic violence and sexual assault cases. All these domestic abuse cases go to the same court. The police and sheriff's departments each have a designated officer to investigate domestic violence and sexual assault cases. This coordinated and linked effort has increased the consistency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system to bring the batterer to accountability.
Healthcare Provider Readiness
As part of the continuum of safety and support for the victim as well as batterer accountability, Columbus Regional Hospital has increased capacity to respond to sexual assault cases presented in the Emergency Department. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) training provides advanced education and clinical preparation for practitioners who may lack skills in forensic examination of sexual assault victims.